"Is it you,"said Defarge, in a low voice, as they went down the guardhouse steps and turned into Paris, "who married the daughter of Doctor Manette, once a prisoner in the Bastille that is no more?"
"Yes,"replied Darnay, looking at him with surprise.
"My name is Defarge, and I keep a wine-shop in the Quarter Saint Antoine. Possibly you have heard of me."
"My wife came to your house to reclaim her father? Yes!"
The word "wife"seemed to serve as a gloomy reminder to Defarge, to say with sudden impatience, "In the name of that sharp female newly-born, and called La Guillotine, why did you come to France?"
"You heard me say why, a minute ago. Do you not believe it is the truth?"
"A bad truth for you,"said Defarge, speaking with knitted brows, and looking straight before him.
"Indeed I am lost here. All here is so unprecedented, so changed, so sudden and unfair, that I am absolutely lost. Will you render me a little help?"
"None."Defarge spoke, always looking straight before him.
"Will you answer me a single question?"
"Perhaps. According to its nature. You can say what it is."
"In this prison that I am going to so unjustly, shall I have some free communication with the world outside?"
"You will see."
"I am not to be buried there, prejudged, and without any means of presenting my case?"
"You will see. But, what then? Other people have been similarly buried in worse prisons, before now."
"But never by me, Citizen Defarge."
Defarge glanced darkly at him for answer, and walked on in a steady and set silence. The deeper he sank into this silence, the fainter hope there was — or so Darnay thought — of his softening in any slight degree. He, therefore, made haste to say:
"It is of the utmost importance to me (you know, Citizen, even better than I, of how much importance), that I should be able to communicate to Mr. Lorry of Tellson's Bank, an English gentleman who is now in Paris, the simple fact, without comment, that I have been thrown into the prison of La Force. Will you cause that to be done for me?"
"I will do,"Defarge doggedly rejoined, "nothing for you. My duty is to my country and the People. I am the sworn servant of both, against you. I will do nothing for you."
Charles Darnay felt it hopeless to entreat him further, and his pride was touched besides. As they walked on in silence, he could not but see how used the people were to the spectacle of prisoners passing along the streets. The very children scarcely noticed him. A few passers turned their heads, and a few shook their fingers at him as an aristocrat; otherwise, that a man in good clothes should be going to prison, was no more remarkable than that a labourer in working clothes should be going to work. In one narrow, dark, and dirty street through which they passed, an excited orator, mounted on a stool, was addressing an excited audience on the crimes against the people, of the king and the royal family. The few words that he caught from this man's lips, first made it known to Charles Darnay that the king was in prison, and that the foreign ambassadors had one and all left Paris. On the road (except at Beauvais) he had heard absolutely nothing. The escort and the universal watchfulness had completely isolated him.
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